• Chapter 3- Snakes, Spiders and Shakes Oh My!

    Originally I had different plans for this chapter. After not knowing where this chapter was going for almost a year now. I decided to change it up a bit. As my mom detoxed she experienced things that would be unimaginable to most of us. The mind is a powerful thing and it has the ability to do many powerful things. Hallucinations can be scary, overwhelming and just plain confusing at times. Sometimes mom would be terrified of a bug she thought she saw on the floor or crawling on her and other times she was just amazed at the action taking place within her mind that she could not decipher.

    My mom spoke mostly to my brother about her hallucinations, voices and music she heard. I only have one story to share about her hallucinations and voices in her head. She only ever shared one story with me and it was while it was actually happening to her.

    One fall afternoon in September of 2011 my family and I were packing up the car to go on a nice vacation to Florida. We were driving the trip which took us about seven hours. About a quarter of the way through the trip I got a call on my cell phone from my mom who sounded panic-stricken.

    I could barely hear her so I asked everyone in the car to sit quietly because I could sense something wasn't right with her. She spoke softly but almost out of breath at the same time. She kept saying over and over again that she was hearing voices and seeing things. So I calmly asked her what the voices were saying. She said they kept telling her they were going to hurt my brother and I. I calmly told her that my brother and I were good and safe and what she was hearing was not real or true. I could feel my heart pound inside my chest while I had this one hour conversation with her. I felt helpless and scared for her. As I did not know what the voices could tell her next. I didn't know what to do for her or who to call for help.

    She then proceeded to tell me she saw little tiny men dressed like black ninjas. They were climbing all over her room talking to her. They scared her and she felt uneasy with them around. She was almost whispering telling me about them. Almost as if she was afraid they would hear her. Her breath was getting heavier and heavier and the tone of her voice sounding more worried with each breath.

    The only thing I could tell her in order to calm her down was that my brother and I were okay and safe. I just kept repeating it to her and I could slowly hear her breathing starting to slow down. It was the most disturbing, stressful telephone conversation I've ever had. I hesitantly hung up the phone not knowing what my mom was going to do next. I immediately called my grandmother whom she was living with at the time to tell her about my experience I had just had. She assured me that she would go and check on my mom and make sure she was alright. My grandmother knew she was detoxing. The only thing she could do was try and keep her calm and safe. She just kept reassuring her that the voices were not real and what she was seeing was not really there. There was nothing we could do for her except comfort her and let time pass.

    The rest of the drive to my Florida vacation I agonized over my moms condition. I was scared for her. I didn't want her to be scared or fearful of things that were not really there. I felt helpless. As the days passed I would call my grandma to check up on her and see if she was feeling any better. As each day passed the voices subsided and the hallucinations diminished. The DT's tormented her and it was painful to watch or listen to. You wish you could take her fear, anxiety or pain away.

    Here are some quotes that my mom wrote about her hallucinations and voices in her head.

    "The voices are like holograms, they repeat in patterns over and over again the same questions and comments."

    "I control the voices in my head, they don't control me."

    "Words are being forced into my thoughts."

    "Inside I am a pressure cooker."

    "The voices in my head are just my body telling my brain what is going on. Because the brain can't see, the brain is the central info center."